Spanish Food

Published on 8/29/2011 in Spanish Lifestyle

For many, a vacation in Spain is all about the food.  Widely recognized as one of the world's premier destinations for "foodie culture", Spain's tradition of good living and great food is unsurpassed.  Now, recently, that reputation has taken a bit of a hit with the closing of El Bulli, often regarded as the greatest restaurant in the world.  So, you want to go Spain and savor every morsel but no longer have that mighty draw...where do you start?

Often described as "small plates" here in the U.S., the moniker doesn't really do these delicious treats justice.  End up at a tapas bar in the States and you'll order from a selection of dishes meant to be shared in a restaurant that (usually) has a kind of formal vibe going on.  It's a bit of a shame really, because a true Spanish tapas bar, like Espinaler Bodega, is something else entirely.  Go, sit with friends and begin to order drinks.  Some of the most magical food that you've ever slipped past your lips will begin to be presented to you.  Keep on ordering those drinks and you'll begin to be tempted to order the really good stuff.  It'll make you weep when you get back to your local watering hole and are presented with peanuts or a snack-mix of questionable origins.

While we’re at it, don’t worry that some of the food (seafood, especially) is coming from cans.  What Spain does with canned foods is such a far cry from your generic hockey puck of tuna that you’ll be left agape.

Dessert First

Not to be outdone by the main course, dessert has become an institution across the country.  These sweet treats are being presented in ways as varied as our imagination.  For some of the best and most innovative, take a trip to Barcelona’s Espai Sucre.  This dessert only restaurant (an idea that needs to take hold everywhere) is pushing the boundaries of what it is to savor incredibly lush sweets.

As if that wasn’t enough, you can visit Enric Rovira Chocolates and discover how this master chocolatier is changing the shape of the chocolate world.  You’ll never see the simple chocolate egg in the same light again.

These are only the briefest of glimpses into a world where good food and the enjoyment of it is considered a birthright.  From the wine to the jamon and everything in between, the wonderful people of Spain have managed to take some of life’s most simple pleasures and redefined how we think about them and enjoy them.  The world may have lost El Bulli, but the rest of Spain is still surging forward as the leader in innovative cuisine that has been created with generations of passion and love behind every dish.

Written by: Mike Shaw

About the author:

Mike Shaw rights about travel and studying abroad.

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n. batty said:
Wednesday, August 31, 2011 @ 10:59 AM

'Spain's tradition of good living and great food is unsurpassed' - I find this very amusing that this myth continues to run. I have been living here a while now and from what I see of Spanish food it consists mainly of fatty, greasy meat, white bread, lots of sugary things and lots of salt. I do not think chucking olive oil on every time you have salad cancels all of that out. I do not like to compare Spain to back home but I must admit, I found it far easier to eat healthily in the UK. The Spaniards seem to be getting a bit fatter so I think something has changed maybe?

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